Women’s Volleyball Outlasts Illinois
No. 3 Penn State women’s volleyball edged its way past No. 13 Illinois Friday night in Champaign in four sets (25-16, 25-18, 24-26, 27-25) to move to 15-1 on the year. It marks the third game out of the last four in which the squad has dropped at least a set after starting the year with a flurry of sweeps.
How It Happened
Megan Courtney led Penn State with 18 kills, and became the eighth Nittany Lions to join the 1,000 career kills/1,000 career digs club.
The two teams traded points to an 11-11 tie in a contested first set. But Lee ad Courtney teamed up to edge the advantage to 17-12. Illinois battled back after a series of kills and Penn State errors. But another 6-1 run that featured putaways from Courtney and Frantti gave the Lions the first set victory.
The second set again started as back and forth affair. An Illinois kill at 13-11 inspired an 8-4 Penn State run led by Whitney and Courtney. That was all the Nittany Lions needed. After a failed set point, Whitney tallied yet another kill to give the Lions the 25-18 lead in the first set and a decisive advantage in the match.
Again, the Lions jumped out to a quick lead in the third set, this time 4-1. But this time Illinois responded, with a 6-3 push to bring its advantage to 19-16. Traded points followed, with Whitney and Frantti urging the Lions for a sweep. That attempt fell just short: The Fighting Illini took the third set in extra points, 26-24.
Penn State, however, put the match away in the fourth set. Tied 11-11, Whitney yet again willed her team to the lead. But Illinois, in front of an energized home crowd, responded to tie the match in its final moments, 22-22. More traded kills followed to 27-25, but Courtney’s final kill gave Penn State the set (27-25), and the match.
There’s no rest for the weary Lions, they travel to Northwestern for a matchup against the Wildcats today at 8:00 p.m.